Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin – June – July 2017
On 24th June, the 2016-2017 academic year closing ceremony of the Gevorkian Theological Seminary was held in the Events Auditorium, under the presidency of His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians.
Attending the ceremony were members of the Brotherhood of the Mother See, teaching staff of the spiritual-educational institutions, and students of the Gevorkian Theological Seminary.
Following the Lord’s Prayer and the singing of the Gevorkian Theological Seminary anthem, Rev. Fr. Karekin Hambardzumyan, Dean of the Gevorkian Theological Seminary made remarks.
Fr. Karekin presented the achievements recorded in the seminary during the academic year, among which was the release of the Seminary website and a DVD; the concert tour of the “Etchmiadzin” choir in Moscow and Grodno; various lectures and activities by visiting Professors from a number of foreign and Armenian universities; and the participation of Seminary students in various social programs and cultural initiatives. The Dean noted the importance of the completion of a postgraduate documentary and program preparatory work, which was launched at the beginning of the year with the blessing of the Catholicos of All Armenians and with the approval of the Government of the Republic of Armenia; and as well as the cooperation agreement reached with the Eastern University of Rome.
The Seminary had 94 students last year- 10 of them graduates, and 63 lecturers have taught at the institution: 37 of them were laymen and 26 clergy.
In his remarks, Father Karekin also reflected on the mission of the spiritual institution and stated in part: “If our students learn something through Seminary life, it is the unity in Christ’s mission, on the path of searching for spiritual invisible truth. Moreover, due to our spiritual education, we receive the light and the good, the ability to distinguish the holy and eternal from sin and transgression. The six-year education in the seminary is aimed at revealing the best humane God-created qualities in our students. To teach them that first of all justice, courage, and humility are preferable in everything”.
Father Karekin on behalf of the administrative and teaching staff, wished for the graduate students to implement their life and service through the Holy Bible and strengthen it through prayers and communion with the Lord.
The Gevorkian Theological Seminary choir, under the leadership of Deacon Artur Vardanyan performed spiritual and national songs. Dn. Andranik Minasyan, a graduate student of the 6th class made remarks on behalf of the students.
During the event, an awards ceremony was held: different students were given an award by the Catholicos of All Armenians, for the progress in their studies, discipline and other virtues.
The event concluded with the blessings and remarks of His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians.
His Holiness expressed his satisfaction with the recorded successes and achievements of the spiritual-educational institutions of Mother See during the year, conveying his appreciation to the administration and teaching staff of the Gevorkian Theological Seminary, the Vaskenian Theological Seminary and the Turpanjian Theological High School; for their zealous and dedicated work
In his remarks, the Armenian Pontiff stated that the clergymen prepared for the spiritual service of the people must be a good person, a good Armenian, and a good citizen.
Accordingly, His Holiness emphasized that the first priority of the Seminary is a human-creating mission- a human who follows in God’s image, who becomes like our Lord Jesus Christ and is guided by His commandments and messages.
His Holiness also stressed that the second priority of the spiritual institution is the education of patriotic sons by the pedagogues and administration. Ensuring that the students of the seminary becoming a part of national history, the sacred heritage of their fathers and their heroic nature, and through their example and spirit of ministry both in the spiritual and secular life, can contribute to the sacred work of preserving the Armenian identity.
The Catholicos of All Armenians stressed the importance of graduates of the seminary having a high level of civic consciousness, spirit of responsibility and lawfulness; and as worthy clergymen, to keep the people on God’s paths and lead the national life in love, kindness, justice and peace.
Addressing his remarks to the graduating deacons, His Holiness particularly stated: “We are very glad that we have graduates this year who will enter the church life and offer their knowledge to our people and Holy Church. We are confident that our graduates will justify the expectations and hopes of the pedagogues, administration, and our Brotherhood; and will further contribute to the increase of our Church’s reputation”.
The Catholicos of All Armenians conveyed his blessings to the seminarians, urging them to demonstrate a high consciousness in their their studies and to put all efforts for preparing their disposition to that great mission to which is called the Armenian Apostolic Church.
At the conclusion, His Holiness asked the Almighty to always keep the Armenian Church vibrant and prosper in her mission. His Holiness also wished that the Almighty God generously sheds His graces to the seminarians and professors.
The ceremony was closed with the “Protector” prayer.